TCA Reference Library
The Reference Library is both a great resource for members, and the repository for researchers of extensive material about the history of the toy train industry. Located in the Headquarters building in Strasburg, PA, the library is a dynamic center of activity.
For a full description of the Library, go here. On file are catalogs, magazines and books devoted to toy trains from 1900 to the present. The Library maintains copies of commercial price guides for a number of popular manufacturers, but does not provide appraisals or evaluations.
Here are just several examples of the historic documents in the library:
- American Flyer 1918 Catalog
- Dealer Displays from 1926 Lionel Trade Price Sheet
- Butler Brothers 1910 Christmas Catalog
- 1923 Ives Catalog Page
- Tinplate Review, research into an early publication
- And many scholarly books and resources about toy train technology and history, such as this one about Beggs trains
Two easy ways for members to do online lookups:
Search our growing online library catalog, many records with images. (PastPerfect system, open to the public). Over 20,000 records including virtually all the Library's books and most of the 1200 photographs in the collection. Also included are manufacturers catalogs, advertising, newsletters, commemorative paper, posters and much more. Each record contains detailed information about the item and search terms.
Search the Toy Trains Quarterly Fifty Year Archive here. The Archive has a special search system for these holdings. (Member Password required.)
The Library houses the archives of the Train Collectors Association. The library is administered by Librarian Jan Athey, with assistance from the Library and Historical Committee.
A list of other information sources is maintained here with the Library's assistance.
Also open alternate Mondays and Saturdays
Subject to variation. Please call ahead to confirm availability:
How to Contact the Library:
- Phone the Library at 717 687-8976.
- Email the Library.
- Write to:
Toy Train Reference Library
Train Collectors Association
P. O. Box 248
Strasburg, PA 17579-0248